The journey that we are on with our 19-year old severely autistic son, Dusty, has not been easy, and while there are indeed moments of despair, the moments of glory shine through. One such shining moment came a few weeks ago when I took Dusty to a regular (non-autism Friendly performance) of Wicked on Broadway, a show that he is obsessed with. Ten years ago we were asked to leave a performance of ‘Chicago’ on Broadway shortly after the start of Act II, a rejection that still stings today. In ten years, Dusty has matured and through the love and support of the community we surround him with, he has learned to manage his impulsive and compulsive behaviors allowing him to relax and enjoy the moment. So I decided it was time to try again. There we were, 5th row Orchestra seats on the aisle and for the whole two hours he smiled. He smiled! And he was quiet! Really quiet. And then the most amazing thing happened. During the song ‘For Good’ that Elphaba and Glinda sing to each other at the end of Act II…right when Glinda sings ‘Because I knew you…I have been changed for good’, Dusty picked up my hand and kissed it. He has never done anything like that before.
This moment, this shining moment, would never have happened if it weren’t for SNACK. They have been with us every step of the way, nurturing Dusty, embracing Dusty, loving Dusty. Acclimating him to the community, the environment, his peers, enabling him to live in the world and enjoy all the shining moments versus observing it from afar.
As we look towards Dusty’s future and adulthood, SNACK will play an even more integral role as he will soon age out of the school system and ‘fall off the cliff’. There are no mandated services or programming beyond age 21 for the developmentally disabled. SNACK’s recent 21+ initiative is well underway, but it needs your help to grow and survive. Please consider donating either by clicking the donate button above or sending a check to SNACK & Friends, LLC, 316 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10022. SNACK is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
For all the good that SNACK has done and will continue to do, there is no question…there will be more shining moments yet to come. And thanks for your support, because we knew you, we have been changed….for good.